PROVIDENCE- The R.I. Executive Office of Commerce has issued its Request for Proposals for the creation of one or more Innovation Campuses in Rhode Island.

Read the RFP, here.

Commerce said that companies looking to submit a proposal should be engaged in the creation of technology, goods and/or services related to Rhode Island’s key industry growth sectors or innovation clusters.

State investment is preferred to be between $5 million and $20 million, with a minimum of a $1 million request.

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According to the RFP, respondents are also reminded that funding from the bond proceeds may be used to:

  • Acquire land or other real property or any interest, estate or right therein (including leaseholds).
  • Pay cost of demolition, construction, rehabilitation, enlargement, provision of service utilities, and other improvements to land.
  • Pay for the cost of furnishings, equipment, supplies, devices, materials, and labor for repair, renovation or conversion of systems and structures.
  • Pay for the preparation of reports, plans and specifications, relocation expenses, and other costs such as for designing, inspecting and engineering required in connection with a project.

The money comes from a voter-approved $20 million bond issue to create one or more Innovation Campuses in 2016. In May 2017, R.I. Commerce Corp. issued an invitation for Expressions of Interest for the Innovation Campus.

Commerce also outlined its minimum requirements as:

  • Companies must partner with the University of Rhode Island.
  • Companies must propose a match that exceeds the amount of money requested from the bond issuance.
  • Companies must involve at least one business partner.
  • Companies must create a “substantial number of jobs” at a variety of skill levels.

According to the RFP, 75 percent of a company’s evaluation will be based on its written proposal, while 25 percent will be based on an interview. The written proposal will be evaluated on a team’s capacity and experience, its innovation campus proposal concept and its project financial approach and strength.

Companies will be required to submit a proposal for an Innovation Campus facility that is designed to bring together the educational, research, translational and commercial acts of a company’s proposal.

The deadline for submission is March 2 at 2 p.m. The questions deadline is set for Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. Questions and answers will be posted on Jan 29.

Respondent interviews are scheduled to take place in spring 2018.

The selection committee will be composed of representatives chosen by the state secretary of commerce in consultation with University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Commerce Corp. board of directors.

More information can be found at Commerce’s website.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.